Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tantalizing Invitations and Festivity Fatigue

The sun shone through our bedroom curtains on Saturday morning, but I lingered beneath the warm covers as long as I could and longer than I should.

Friday had started early, and ended late. I had been in Kitchener for the day and then Paul and I drove north to Huntsville for a Christmas dinner.

The drive north was magically beautiful. The moon was so close to earth that you could see mountains and its light illuminated the snowy landscape. It was as bright, almost, as day. The boughs of the fir trees were so heavily laden with snow that their tips nearly touched the ground and above them a clear sky sparkled with bright stars. We left the cities of Barrie, Orillia and Gravenhurst far behind us, as apartment blocks gave way to rocky inclines and forests upon which snow drifted down gently.

It was midnight when we got home and much later when I finally crept into bed.

On Saturday morning, the weekend felt a bit overwhelming with much to get done and in spite of all that, I was moving in slow motion with a case of Festivity Fatigue!

I picked up a voicemail message left by our son Peter earlier that day. He sounded happy, and he said, "Hello, Mom; Dad; I just wanted to tell you that the rink in the backyard is ready. The kids are out there skating around. It's about 24 feet by 20 feet--it's great and they love it. I just came inside to make some hot chocolate and we were wondering if you wanted to come over and see it after church tomorrow. The kids would really love to show it to you."

I know how busy Peter is, too, but it sounded as if he had his priorities straight today and as I pictured the scene, I wished that I had the time and energy to go over right that minute and share in the fun..

I was finally ready to go shopping at around 3.00, when I remembered that Molson needed to be let out first. I went downstairs with my warm black coat on, and he, seeing my coat, mistook my intent. Happy eyes, alert and bright, were on me as he bounded for the sliding glass doors, tail up and mouth panting and smiling. How I longed to answer his invitation to go for a walk, but he leaped out into the bright, sunny day and pounced into the snow alone, while I waited for him to come back in.

Once out in the world of stores decked out for Christmas some of my energy returned. I went to Dutch Treats in Bradford and the whole store was buzzing. A young couple were looking amongst the remaining chocolate letters, searching in vain for the all the right letters, but the pickings were slim. On the bulletin board, just inside the front door, was a photo of me with two big cardboard boxes and a heading that said "Belinda buys 105 letters." Next my photo was another of an elderly lady who bought 85; I have a challenger! The store was festive and bright and I listened with pleasure to Cors, one of the owners, speaking Dutch to a customer. Although I learned Dutch only from nursery rhymes sung to me by Mum, and through vacations spent in Holland, hearing the language spoken evokes happy memories. I soaked the atmosphere in as I added items to my basket and wished that I had brought my camera.

Just over two hours later, laden with supplies for a party on Monday, I went through the check out at Costco. The woman at the cash register asked me how the weather was outside. I told her it was a beautiful day, bright and sunny. As I pushed my buggy from the store, to my surprise it was already dark. The day was almost done! Where had it gone and what had I done? A lot of shopping, a little laundry and not a lot more. When I sat down to have my quiet time with God, before going shopping, I fell asleep, and on my Marathon of Biblical Proportions I have temporarily ground to a halt.

Well, two more parties and then I look forward to a more relaxed pace, Here's to rosy cheeked children on an ice rink, and bounding through diamond powder snow with Molson.


Night Owl said...

Wow, you DID have a busy day!
I wish I could skate with you. I adore skating! (It's a million times better than studying in any case!)
Shopping also sounds wonderful! I still haven't done any Christmas shopping, which is a bit problematic. Especially seeing as some of my friends don't live in Toronto, and they are going home on Monday, which is tomorrow as it's already 1am on Sunday! Yikes!
It makes me smile that hearing Dutch brings you happy memories. So of course, I will go through my entire Dutch vocabulary here, in hopes of imagining to see a beautiful Belinda-smile. :)
I already know:
chocola (very important word to know!),
welteresten (which you taught me, yay!), :)
liefs (also highly, highly important, perhaps MOST important).
And I just learned two new ones (out of sheer necessity, but also because I love learning languages):
and koffiezetapparaat.
Teach me more, please! :)
I loved the imagery of diamond powder snow and Molson. :)
And also rosy cheeked children.
Yay for Christmas. :)
Liefs and hugs,
Night Owl

Night Owl said...

P.S. Is Festivity Fatigue an acknowledged problem? Because I'd like to use at as the reason why I can't seem to motivate myself to work efficiently. For example, I sit down to study and then I suddenly decide hot chocolate would be nice to try to warm up the awfulness in working. The Christmas tree is also strangely magnetic to me and very distracting!

Belinda said...

Dearest Night Owl,
Yes, I put my doctor hat on and hereby diagnose you with a definite case of Festivity Fatigue and with complications of Christmas Distraction.

Hmmm, I don't know whether your professors will recognize my credentials though. :)

Belinda said...

Whoops, I may have mispelled one word I taught you. It is "welterusten." "Well" "to" "rest." But in Dutch I think we "rust!" :)

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

I think Christmas is a magical time and I love how it doesn't matter how old you are!
I am so glad I get to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas!!
Soli Deo Gloria

Belinda said...

Me too, Reformed Anon. The "real meaning" is something we can cherish and celebrate regardless of whether all that "stuff" gets done. I hope you had a good day with less pain than you were having a couple of days ago.

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

Still not there yet.
but it's ok, more time to pray when I can't move! :)

Soli Deo Gloria